One Horse Dies In Fire Inside Laurel Park Barn

by | 12.07.2017 | 4:01pm
One of the new 150-stall barns at Laurel Park

A fire late Wednesday evening at Laurel Park claimed the life of the 7-year-old Pappa Portmore.

The fire occurred after 10 p.m. in a tack room. The fire spread to the adjoining stall occupied by the gelding. Pappa Portmore was claimed Dec. 1 by trainer Anthony Farrior on behalf of Super C Racing. The son of Good Reward had won six of 18 starts.

There was no structural damage to the fire-retardant barn.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

“I speak for everyone at Laurel Park and the Maryland Jockey Club when I say how devastated we all are by this loss,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “The safety of our horses is our priority at all our tracks. One loss is too many.”


  • The Pimlico spy

    I’m pretty sure they have not installed the sprinkler system in that barn or the other “new fire retardant” barn

    • Guest

      It’s a TENT

    • Lehane

      That’s terrible.

    • No they can’t put sprinklers in them. And I don’t believe they are fire retardant either.

  • NYTrainer

    How can a fire retardant barn have a fire that spreads through a wall, and how can there be no structural damage to a barn that the fire dept. says had flames going through the roof of the center of the barn?

    • Lehane


  • NYTrainer

    Also, I wonder how many horses are feeling the effects of being in a barn full of smoke? Does anyone know the status of the horses Housed in that Barn during the fire?

  • Guest

    Because the barn is considered a temporary structure there were no inspections. The fire department had a difficult time getting to the barn. The fire melted a hole in the tent. The horse died a horrific death. And they want to build another similar structure to house more horses? PR might want to check with the Laurel fire Marshall regarding how safe those tents are. Oh yeah, when the fire department hooked up to the water a pipe blew and there was no water at LP most of the day.

    • Lehane


  • Noval

    Shame. This fire is the direct result of neglect by track ownership and management. This is the SECOND fire they have had in these new tent barns in as many years. The sprinklers are part of the design, but the Maryland Jockey Club hasn’t bothered installing them. The entire backside is a falling down firetrap. They are spending money putting in fancy seating in the grandstand that NOBODY ever uses in hope of getting a Breeders Cup in the next decade. Meanwhile, the backside of the facility thst is used 24/7/365 are an absolute disgrace. BREEDERS CUP staff, I hope you are watching and tell Sal Sinatra that there will be no thought of a BC at Laurel until the horrible backside neglect is remedied.

  • Judy Gaddis

    Condolences to the owners and the others who loved Poppa. RIP Sweet One – this should have never happened to you…………………..

  • Guest

    The picture is the actual barn- no sprinklers!

  • Tromper

    Totally hideous & inexcusable that MJC management would even allow temporary barns, WITHOUT sprinkler systems & then assure occupants are safe in the “tents” …..that are so-called “fire retardant”? C’mon….IF safety IS their “priority” then obviously track owner & administration has a TON of explaining to do!

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